WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Vernon College will soon be celebrating half a century of further education.

“50 years is a long time and a lot of institutions are working to that direction. Some of course have passed it. We’re just glad of course to be reading the 50-year milestone,” Vernon College President Dr. Dusty Johnston said.

Johnston says when he stops and reflects, it’s truly been 50 years of pretty great milestones.

Vernon College began back in the late 60s when Wilbarger County residents voted in favor of the school. The Vernon campus opened in 1972, and since then, the college has expanded to Wichita Falls, preparing thousands of students for success.

“About half our students come for either one-year certificates or two-year degrees to enter directly into the workforce such as our LPN program, our RN program, surgical technology program, cosmetology program, our culinary program, dental assisting, and on and on. We have over 35 programs to get a student into the workforce,” Johnston said.

The hard work and culture of excellence on Vernon College campuses is what draws students in and impacts faculty members like Vice President of Instructional Services Shana Drury, who is celebrating an anniversary of her own.

“That’s why I stayed with Vernon College for 25 years because I like to see our students make a better living for themselves and for their families,” Drury said.

Empowering students will always remain at the core of Vernon College.

“The value of a community college is up to each individual. What did that person gain from their experience? How did we help them improve their life? Whatever their situation was, did we help them improve their life? Did we get them a good job? A better job? The ability to transfer to a university? We do a good job at that,” Johnston said.

“We’re ever-evolving. We evolve with the community so those jobs that are changing, we’re changing to meet that demand,” Drury said.

Reflecting on the past, and looking forward to the next 50.

The official celebration for the 50th year will take place on Friday, Sept. 9, at the Vernon Campus and the public is invited to come out!